Recycling protects earth's resources and prevents the pollution that causes climate change

What Else Can Be Recycled?

There are many materials that can be recycled, but can't go in your recycling bin. This page is designed to give a basic background of materials that have special recycling programs. This is not a complete list. 


Do not recycle plastic bags in your home recycling bin. There are a wide variety of plastic bags and other film plastics that can be recycled if brought to your local grocery store or retail outlet. 

  • grocery bags
  • retail shopping bags with string ties removed
  • newspaper bags
  • dry-cleaning bags
  • produce bags with ALL food residue removed
  • bread bags with ALL food residue removed
  • cereal bags with ALL food residue removed
  • frozen food bags with ALL food residue removed
  • shrink wrap from paper products (paper towels, toilet paper, etc)
  • salt bags with rigid plastic handles removed
  • stretch/shrink wrap with all food residue removed
  • zipper type bags

 It's easy to recycle your film plastics! Just start collecting them in your home in a designated location (junk drawer, pantry, broom closet, or convenient location in the kitchen) and bring them to a grocery store or retail outlet. Ask a customer service employee where the plastic bag recycling bin is located.

Certain stores are required by law to accept these plastics for recycling. Learn more about the NYS Plastic Bag Reduction, ReUse and Recycling Act


New Yorkers throw away 1.4 billion pounds of recoverable fabric and textiles every year. Most Americans don't realize that they can donate a wide variety of materials in their local clothing drop-off bins, not just clothes and shoes. 

Acceptable items don't have to be in perfect condition. Donations can be stained, ripped, worn, missing buttons, broken zippers, or be out of fashion! As long as your fabric is odorless and dry, it can be recycled into new materials like insulation or carpeting. 

Check out all the materials you can donate at a clothing drop off bin: 


  • Sheets
  • Blankets
  • Towels
  • Curtains/Drapes
  • Aprons
  • Dish cloths
  • Cloth napkins
  • Table linens
  • Comforters
  • Throw rugs
  • Placemats

Footwear (single or in pairs):

  • All Types of Shoes (High heels, Flats, Sandals, Flip Flops, Work boots, Dress boots, Winter boots, Sneakers, Cleats, Slippers) 


  • Tops (T-shirts, blouses, shirts, tank tops) Sweaters, Sweatshirts
  • Dresses, Suits
  • Outerwear (coats, jackets, blazers)
  • Bottoms (pants, slacks, jeans, sweatpants, skirts, shorts) Socks
  • Pajamas
  • Slips, Bras, Underwear


  • Hats
  • Bags (pocketbooks, backpacks, duffle bags, totes)
  • Belts
  • Gloves
  • Ties
  • Scarves
  • Bathrobes


  • Halloween costumes
  • Sports jerseys
  • Pet clothing
  • Textile scraps greater than 1'x1'
  • Canvas

Click here to find a clothing drop-off bin near you.


NYS laws required that any store that sells rechargeable batteries must also accept them for recycling. The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation is a not-for-profit organization that offers an online database of regional battery recycling options. Rechargeable batteries are commonly accepted for recycling at home improvement centers like Lowes or Home Depot.

Alkaline batteries are classified by the federal government as non-hazardous and are approved by the NYS DEC to enter the municipal solid waste stream. However, special recycling programs for these batteries do exist, but often cost money to ship them away. Some options for Alkaline battery recycling include

ERSI (Rensselaer NY)

E-Lot Recycling (Glenmont, NY)

TerraCycle (New Jersey)

Big Green Box (Ohio)



Under the New York State Wireless Recycling Act, all wireless telephone service providers that offer phones for sale are required to accept cell phones for reuse or recycling. 


The easiest way for residents of Schenectady County to recycle electronics is bring them to the County Compost and Recycling Facility located at 24 Hetcheltown Road in Glenville. Most e-waste is accepted for free with a valid facility permit card.

Residents also have the option to bring e-waste to a participating electronics retail store, such as Best Buy, Staples, etc. but fees may apply. 

Commercial businesses, schools, or other governmental entities need to seek other means to recycle electronics, as required by New York State law. The DEC offers a database of registered electronic waste recycling facilities.

Residents of Niskayuna can recycle electronics for free (with a valid permit) at the Niskayuna Recycling Center located at 2555 River Road. 

View a list of e-waste items accepted at the County Recycling Center 



A Local Non-Profit Re-Use Organization called "Up-Stitch" accepts donations of sewing and needlework supplies and recirculates them in the crafting community at affordable prices. 

They accept :

  • Patterns, fabric, kitting/crochet accessories (hooks, needles, etc)
  • Buttons, buckles, fasteners
  • Yarn, trims, lace, ribbons
  • pins, scissors, thread, elastic

Visit their webpage to learn more!


(expanded polystyrene or "Styrofoam peanuts")

You can bring packing peanuts to a local UPS store for re-use and recycling. 

Locally, Nott Street Office and Union Street Office also accept polystyrene packing peanuts for reuse. 


All scrap metal has inherent value for creating new materials.

 View a list of local scrap metal recycling locations by clicking here. 


If your items are still functional, consider donating them to a local charitable organization. There are many church groups that sponsor thrift stores that accept donations. Making donations not only improves the lives of others in your community while extending the useful life of our goods, but it also helps prevent pollution by reducing material sent to landfills.

You may be entitled to tax deductions for making large donations. 


>>>Habitat for Humanity<<< will pick up bulk donations for FREE! 

  • cabinets 
  • appliances
  • toilets
  • bath fixtures
  • doors
  • windows
  • functional furniture
  • dinnete sets and china cabinets
  • lamps and lighting fixtures
  • tile
  • hardware
  • tools 

Learn more about other things you can recycle>>Super_recycler_brochures_May_2015.pdf


Terracycle is a revolutionary recycling company that has launched FREE recycling programs for conventionally un-recyclable products. These programs are sponsored by the brands that manufacturer the products that are conventionally not recyclable. All you have to do is sign up to join, start collecting the item in your home, school, or office, download free shipping labels and send the waste to be recycled. You could even earn points for your favorite charitable organization of school 

Here's a sample of some of their FREE recycling programs with Terracycle:

  • Febreeze products
  • Colgate toothpaste products
  • Brita Water Filter products
  • Cigarette butts
  • Drink pouches
  • Guitar Strings
  • Foil Chip Bags and Snack Packaging
  • Toms of Maine products
  • Yanke Candle Products


Didn't find what you were looking for?

Check out DEC Guide to Odd Recyclables

This is not a complete list of everything that can get recycled through special programs. This page is still under construction. Please check back again for updates.  

Last updated October 19, 2021